United Nations chief accepts resignation over report on 'apartheid' Israel

Mar 20, 2017, 00:42
United Nations chief accepts resignation over report on 'apartheid' Israel

Khalaf, a Jordanian who headed the Beirut-based ESCWA, said she couldn't accept being subjected to pressure from Guterres to withdraw the report.

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia was forced to remove the report from its website while its chairwoman, Lebanese citizen Rima Khalaf, was forced to resign.

The report concluded that "available evidence established beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid".

"Khalaf has for years worked to harm Israel and to promote the BDS and she should have left her role a long time ago".

She described the report as "the first of its kind", adding that it "concludes scientifically and according to worldwide law that Israel has established an apartheid regime".

"Therefore, we call on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to do what is right, reinstate the ESCWA report and undertake serious and concrete measures to hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations of worldwide law and human rights".

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which comprises 18 Arab states, published the report on Wednesday (March 15) and said it was the first time a United Nations body had clearly made the charge.

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"A secretary-general can not accept that an undersecretary-general or any other senior United Nations official that reports to him would authorize the publication under the United Nations name, under the U.N. logo, without consulting the competent departments and even himself", Dujarric said.

"Every government in the world. considers the [Israeli] settlements to be illegal and a crime against humanity, but this doesn't translate into any action other than arming Israelis or giving them very very lucrative. trade deals", the analyst said on Sunday.

Palestinians welcomed the landmark United Nations report.

US UN envoy Nikki Haley praised Guterres for killing the report.

"I asked him to rethink his decision, he insisted, so I submitted my resignation from the United Nations".

Ofir Gendelman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman, said on Twitter Abbas was waging "a diplomatic war on Israel" by announcing the award, describing the report as "libelous and false".

The United States and Israel sharply criticized the report.